Meet Archie: Winter Bambino Champion 2021-2022

Adriana Dzalbe

Marketing & Sales Manager | Smedley Group

Archie was your Bambino winner of the Total Karting Zero 2021-2022 Winter Championship, as well as the recipient of the Championships Race & Respect trophy as voted for by his peers.

We spoke to Archie and his mum, Sam, about the Winter Championship, being a racing driver and future plans!

How Archie started racing

Archie’s career started at only age 4 with his first laps in a go kart at JDR Karting. Always his biggest supporter, it was Archie’s Dad who chased him around the track during those early laps. Archie’s family continue to support his ambitions on the track as they now race with Total Karting Zero. 

Despite numerous trips to JDR Karting, Archie hadn’t turned a competitive racing lap before starting with Total Karting Zero in October 2020. 

Archie’s attitude is always to face any challenges head on with a smile on his face, when asked how the transition from JDR to electric race karts went he said, “I just got on with it, I’m good at memorising the track and JDR karting helped build my skills.”

Image: Archie at Thruxton on the final of the Winter Championship.

The Championship-winning Season

Bayford Meadows was Archie’s highlight of the season. Although he had never raced there before he relished the challenge of getting up to speed with a new circuit. “I like seeing new tracks and I enjoy all the new circuits we race at.” The track certainly suited Archie’s driving as he came home in first place, embracing the challenge of a new circuit whilst showcasing his talent. 

As with any season there are both highs and lows. Archie’s ability to bounce back from the lows is part of what has got him so far. At Whilton Mill, his personally selected “worst round”, he remembers being heavier than some of the other drivers in his class. This caused him to lose out on the straights. However, throughout the weekend Archie recognised this and adapted his driving to make up the time lost through the corners and twisty parts of the circuit instead. This paid off with a storming drive to the podium.

Mum mentions that this attitude to get back up after a fall was evident at the Thruxton round, where Archie told his family “I’m going to show them what I can do.” 

Images by Car Scene UK Media

I asked Archie who his toughest opponents were throughout the season, he picked out Alfie Garrett  as his “podium buddy” and Luc Jardine as one he’ll need to watch for the future. How competitive is the field in Bambino? “Very, all the Bambino’s are really good drivers. It’s competitive on track but off track everyone is all friends. There’s no bad feelings between Bambino’s even after a hard battle on track.”

Dealing with pressure and managing nerves

When asked if he ever gets nervous, Archie told me that he doesn’t get nervous and stays cool even after a win. Whilst many drivers may claim to never be nervous, you get the sense with Archie that he is unflappable. 

He also shows respect for his fellow drivers on and off track, winning for a second year running the ‘Race & Respect’ award together with Teddy Stebbings, who Archie says is one to watch in the Bambino class this season! Archie tells me this meant more to him (to be voted on by his friends and competitors), than the championship winning trophy he earned.

“He just enjoys karting, it's not always about chasing a win”.

In preparation of a race weekend, Archie mentions simulator practice and watching track videos on YouTube help him prepare and avoid getting nervous. Warden Law was one of his favourite and most relaxed weekend, as it combined his three favourite things: Christmas, the beach and karting. He even scored fastest lap points to top it off!

Archie's Future

From this season, Archie has stepped up into the Cadet class, he mentioned that he has been itching to get into the faster and bigger karts! He has been practicing in his own Cadet kart in the meantime, but looks forward to competing in the Electric Cadets, as he likes the instant power and speed he gets in Electric as well as the handling and parity across the grid.

When asked about the step up, Archie said he wasn’t worried about stepping into the class with older drivers – he’s ready to take on any challenge in karting and plans to take this challenge by tackling consistency first in the new equipment.

Beyond karting, Archie aims to become a rally driver, following in the footsteps of his favourite driver Colin McRae. He also has his eyes set on the 3 Shires Rally which takes place locally to him!

The travels that often come with a motorsport career have already begun for Archie too, as he was invited for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by Saudi Motorsport to the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix where he was asked to demo Electric Race karts and felt like a celebrity as learning drivers came to take pictures with him. Although the glamour and excitement of Formula 1 was all around him, all Archie wanted to do is get into a race kart!

Image: Archie and Rob Smedley before his karting demo at the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Archie sends huge thanks to JDR Karting for giving him his start in racing and letting him practice at the circuit. “I would also like to thank daddy, mummy and all of the TKZ team for making me feel welcome and supported”.

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